Salinas del Duque

View across the former salt pans of the Salinas del Duque to the Rio Carreras.

Forming part of the Marismas de Isla Cristina the footpath follows the wall that previously separated the marshes from the mouths of the Guadiana and Carreras rivers. Approximately 7 km long (or just under 4 1/2 miles) its an attractive route that with thanks to a gentle sea breeze doesn’t become too hot even in late June.

Located opposite the fishing port of Isla Cristina the clean, shallow waters still offer opportunities for local people to exploit the plentiful supply of Octopus, Mussels and Shrimps.

Plenty of competition for the shrimps from the Little Terns.

Relatively few songbirds to be found however good to see a Crested Lark on the look-out for seeds and small insects.

One of the many Little Egrets to be seen across the marshes. Surprisingly intolerant of each other whilst feeding in the pools and former salt pans.

A distant White Stork.

With the younger birds still in their nests probably one of the adults from the colonies to be found on pylons that cross the neighbouring fields.

Incredible to see the number of Fiddler Crabs living in the mudbanks. With their giant claw and constant fights for territory and the females attention fascinating creatures to watch.

A Greater Flamingo flying over the marshes.

Yellow-legged Gull.

For many years considered as being a yellow legged form of the more familiar Herring Gull its recently been reclassified as a species in its own right.

Plenty of Glasswort to be found – a close relative of Marsh Samphire.

The far less common Yellow Broomrape known locally as el Jopo (Cistanche phelypaea). Growing up to 50cm high and parasitic on Goosefoot plants (Amaranthaceae sp) certainly one of the more spectacular Broomrapes.

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